Well, you have made it this far so let’s do this the right way and get you some medicine for all your hard work, money spent and dedication to what now have more than likely become your new little children. We will dial this all up in series 201; but the purpose for this series is to get you, the grower, to succeed and realize the quality and love we put into this brand and the products we release.
When we last left off your flowering chamber had a dry run and temps were recorded and fixed to run under 80- 85* at maximum. Your clones were sorted into lines of 3 gallon pots by strain and donor plant number and given 20 hrs of lights and max grow food dose. By now the plants should be about 8”-10” tall and starting to grow into plants with minor side branching starting. (Fig#1)
We will now cut back our lights to 12 hours on and 12 hours off to induce flowering. It is VERY important the plants get no light for an uninterrupted 12 hours to be able to flower properly and not stress. If you absolutely must disturb them at night cycle, use a green led light to focus on what you have to do and leave what can be left until the lights come back on. Light leaks can bring on undue stress to the plants making flowers scraggly and smaller or even in extreme cases hermaphrodite and seed your plants. This is worst case scenario though and should not happen to an Omuerta Genetix plant as all our lineages are traced back through ancestry and our collection relies heavily on pure DNA that has a heritage that will bond easily with its mate. However we will tell you the risks to avoid and that is a big one as a grower no matter whose brand you decide to grow, we just want you to succeed.
Now you have switched the lights back and the plants are officially in flower, date this day on a calendar so you know when the weeks pass. If you throw them into flower Thursday the 20th, then on Friday the 28th it has been 1 week in flower.
Do not put away your grow food yet! I know, I know …But we are in Flowering, shouldn’t I be using the flowering food?! Short answer, no. Long answer that will help you out in the long run is you want to keep feeding maximum growth food dose to your plants for the first week in flower (and even longer in some pure Haze and Sativa landraces). The reason for this is the plant will go through a stretching phase during the first 2 to 3 weeks in flower before the clusters of hairs will gather forming budding sites. We do not want to the plant use up all its nitrogen early in the cycle and start to cannibalize it’s self for nutrients. We also don’t want to go back in and add Nitrogen during the later weeks as you will run the risk of nutrient Lock out.
Nutrient lockout is a term we use when the PH balance in the soil goes out of whack and becomes too acidic or alkaline to let the plant properly intake the foods it needs when it needs it. ANY showing of yellowing or spots or deformities you want to flush that plant with water at a level of PH of 6.5/7. We are constantly testing our water. Water is a life giving source and we will tackle water in its own blog post in the 201 series as it is that important. A trusted PH meter is the ultimate tool in the arsenal of the grower. 5.5 is fine for clones, but once they start to take in food the optimum PH will always be between 6/7 on your meter. (Fig#2)
So for the first week to 10 days the Omuerta method calls for grow food in the flowering cycle. For the next couple of days until the week 2 feeding we will flush with PH level 6.5 water. Now we will switch the food with a heavy dose of flowering food and continue our regular feeding and watering cycle. Feed once, water twice and repeat as needed. We will continue to feed the plants through to the end of week 6. During week 7 we begin the flush cycle and now you will only be using clean water at PH level 6.5. After week 8 you should start to see the natural colors of the plant expressing them as they use up the last remaining sugars and ripen up. Keep up on the water, they will tend to drink a lot during the last 2 weeks as the flowers put on even more water weight and fatten up. The last 2 weeks are essential to producing oils and fragrances; the most common mistake in new growers is not being patient enough. You need to let the plant start to die naturally to get those smells and tastes. (Fig#3 & #4)
We are waiting for the trichome glandular heads to go milky and start to amber under a 20x magnification jeweler’s loop. Your plants will start to lop over with weight and staking them up with bamboo and a zip tie is probably a good idea. Some strains will be finished in 8 weeks and some will take the full nine to finish. It is normal to make some mistakes along the way during your first few grows, but hopefully armed with trusted genetics and some research at least some of you are about to embark on a life changing experience. Your own therapy can be found in the space you have created. Put love in and you will receive love out.